SCAA Board Member Sharon Bates wins Woman of the Year Award
Sharon is a hero, an inspiration, a warrior, an angel, and a true friends to thousands. After losing her own 20 year old son Anthony to an undiagnosed congenital heart condition called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in 2000, she dedicated her life to raising awareness, identifying heart conditions, and preventing sudden cardiac death (SCD) in other children. Anthony was a healthy young adult who never showed any signs of a cardiac condition in any of dozens of pre-sports physicals. He never complained of discomfort and was actually playing football for KSU when he experienced sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) while driving home from a workout and sadly did not survive. As a single mom with only one child, Sharon's grief was unfathomable, but Coach Snyder encouraged her to "do something" and by 2002 the Anthony Bates Foundation (ABF) was born. Sharon's vision to educate and identify undiagnosed heart conditions in other youth has been the catalyst for hundreds of heart screening efforts across the nation and the world. In addition, ABF has placed hundreds of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools across the country. She is a co-founder of Parent Heart Watch (PHW), a national organization of families, survivors, physicians and medical workers with a similar passion to save lives. Sharon's efforts through ABF and the many organizations she has mentored have saved hundreds of lives since Anthony lost his. Sharon is a true example of the "Phoenix" that rises from the ashes. The power that comes from turning grief into a positive force. She has created a beautiful legacy for the amazing being her son Anthony was and would be today. We know he is very proud of his mom as we all are.